Share Your Musical Talents With Third Rail

Third Rail goes into rehearsals in just a few weeks on our next Main Stage production: David Greig’s thrilling combination of theatre and music, The Events. We’ve invited a variety of local community choirs to work with us on this uniquely theatrical experience and want to extend that invitation to our musically inclined patrons and friends.

We are forming the first ever Third Rail Choir exclusively for this production and we want you to join us. All ages and levels of experience and ability are encouraged and welcome (even if you’re primarily a shower singer).

The commitment is minimal and the impact is immeasurable:

  • One three-hour rehearsal with our esteemed music director, Mont Chris Hubbard.
  • Participation onstage with Maureen Porter and guest artist Joseph Gibson for one or more performances with the Third Rail Choir.
  • No memorization required.
  • Sheet music, vocal recordings, and backing tracks will all be available at your request so you can practice at home as you desire.

If you’re curious about the project and would like additional information or you’re ready to sign up right now, just contact Scott Yarbrough at scott@thirdrailrep.org and put SONGBIRD in the subject line. We’ll get right back to you right away.


August 28, 2017

Cristi Miles pushes the pace in Lungs

We are thrilled to have the amazing Cristi Miles back with us to launch our 2017-18 season! You may remember Cristi from our production of Midsummer (a play with songs), or have seen her earlier this summer in Deception Unit with Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble, where she’s co-artistic director. This time around, Cristi plays the smart, excitable, and funny W in Lungs by Duncan Macmillan. We asked her to share a few thoughts on our production.

What do you like about W?

I love her directness, honesty and how she really tries to examine every decision she makes. One of her lines states:  “I want to do everything for the right reason or at least a good reason…” I’m learning from her to really think through the consequences that my decisions will have, which is good for me, as I am one to accept things without really questioning them, and she is teaching me to look beyond that.

Is there anything about her that frustrates you?

The thing that has frustrated me the most about her is learning her thought pattern and rhythm. She is a verbal processor and one that is much faster than me, so I have had to push myself and really get to know her thinking pattern, because she has a lot of incomplete thoughts and phrases and processes a LOT faster than I was ready for.

What do you think will surprise people about this show?

I hope that people will be surprised at how relatable this show is. We are talking about and wrestling with a lot of the issues that face us today, and I hope that the audience will see themselves, or at least part of themselves in these two complicated, wonderful people.

What’s been your favorite part of working with Third Rail again?

Oh gosh, my favorite thing? There are so many things I love about Third Rail! The work ethic and commitment to the honesty of the story, and the people. OR COURSE, the PEOPLE. Being surrounded and supported by the company has made me feel at home and at the same time challenged me to risk failure to strive for what’s possible… it’s been wonderful!

Lungs by Duncan Macmillan runs August 4-26 at CoHo Theatre
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August 16, 2017

Guess Who’s A Guest?

We love our guest artists, and what we do would not be possible without them! Recently, we asked Guest Artists Diane Kondrat (“Clara” in The New Electric Ballroom), Larry Larsen (Scenic Designer for Mr. Kolpert), and Kelly Cullom (Stage Manager for Mr. Kolpert) to shed light on life, their work and more!

TR: To begin with, let’s talk about what truly matters in life: super powers. What’s a super power you wish you had?

DIANE: I’d like to instantly cleanse water.

TR: Nice! How about a real super-talent that might surprise folks?

KELLY: Knitting. I taught myself through videos online – which doesn’t sound as cool out loud as I hoped. It sounds more like what you’d expect from a knitter stereotype. If someone said that to me I’d imagine they live in a home rampant with cats.

LARRY:I secretly want to be a rock star vocalist. I am a pretty good singer. I am also an amazing dessert chef and I make an incredible Tiramisu.

TR: Fantastic, we may draw on that skill at our next cast party! Speaking of, can you talk a little about the Third Rail shows you’ve been involved with, and why?

LARRY: Mr. Kolpert was a play that I gave to my Scene Design 1 students at University of Portland. They loved the script. I wasn’t sure, but it was the strong connection to the characters Raff and Sarah that convinced me that there was a really strong message for their generation. A generation that has so much stimulation from every front that they understand what it means to want to feel real emotion. It was an eye opening realization for my perception of this script.

KELLY: I am drawn to join the team because of the work Third Rail brings to the stage and the people who put it on. It’s engaging theatre – which is satisfying professionally and creatively – and the people are so swell that it’s a pleasure to be here every day and sometimes at odd hours. Theatre is a labor of love and so you’d better love what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with.

TR: Is there a favorite quote or event that has happened in rehearsal?

DIANE: Jennifer Lin told us about reading that children who had survived a communal traumatic incident were witnessed telling and retelling the story of the trauma from different perspectives, trying to process the event.

KELLY: I keep a “quote of the day” section in my rehearsal reports for the daily occasion when someone says something deeply connected to the play, or something goofy. What I love is that the other artists who are on the distribution list of the reports (and are often not in the rehearsal room) will respond to the quote. I like to think it helps them feel even more connected to the group.

TR: Lovely, thank you so much for your time!

You can see images of Mr. Kolpert (and Larry Larsen’s beautiful set!) here: Mr. Kolpert

You can see Diane Kondrat as Clara in The New Electric Ballroom April 8-30th.

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RENEW FOR YOU! (and for your friend, too!)

After we announced Annapurna and The Nether as our next Main Stage productions, you thought, “Ah, yes! I must renew my subscription! (or “my Membership!”).” But who to go with? Kathleen from work loved The Realistic Joneses and Or, but said subscribing just wasn’t possible right now. If only there was a way to renew your own subscription (or membership!) while getting a free one for her…

Never Fear! Rail It Forward is here!

Renew your Subscription or Membership with us by April 1st and we’ll gift you a FREE Main Stage Flexible Subscription to give to any friend who has not subscribed or been a member in a previous year.

The Main Stage Flexible Subscription includes four discounted tickets for you or your guest(s) to see any of our Main Stage productions. You choose how and when you use your tickets.

Now you’ve got a buddy to see Annapurna, The Nether, and the rest of our 2016-2017 Main Stage shows! Hooray! It’s Christmas come early!

October 12 – October 18, 2015

Or, closed this past Sunday and we hope you were able to fall under its magic spell. Usually, following closing, we would take a few days to celebrate and mourn, take a breath and gather ourselves for the next adventure. Or, at the very least, sleep in for a day or two. But there is no rest for the wicked, because immediately after Or, took its final bows, we started loading The Realistic Joneses into our interim home at Imago!

This week is load-in, when a play finally gets to tiptoe its way onto the stage. The set goes up, the lights are hung, the sound cables are run. The first few days will be primarily about getting the set installed, then, on Thursday we begin to focus the lights. Friday marks the first spacing rehearsal – when the actors get to leave the rehearsal room and grow accustomed to the stage. Also on Friday, the director and design team will have a dry tech. A dry tech is the pre-tech meeting wherein the design team gets to talk-through and see/hear the show’s cues without having to worry about those meddlesome actors. Finally, all the pieces get put together over the long, long weekend tech days. And nights.

It is an invigorating, exhausting week. It is beautiful to see everyone’s work come together, but mostly… it’s exciting because it means the show is opening soon!

July 2015

Third Rail is hitting the ground running this summer! Join us for an evening to discuss our new exciting membership model and get your National Theatre Live fix.

The Audience

July 11

Encore presentation of the award winning favorite starring Helen Mirren. One last chance to see her smashing portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II.

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July 19

Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) energetically leads us through this visually stunning version of the 15th century myth.

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Membership Kickoff (LINK)

July 20

You’ve heard whispers and rumors about what’s going on at Third Rail this year… Come be among those to lead us into our tenth year with pop-up performances and a party!


The Ghost of Sean and the Lock-in Weekend

by Third Rail Mentee, Emily Eisele

Back in September of this year, over our first weekend intensive for the Third Rail Mentorship Program (which we later dubbed “Lock-in Weekend”), the Third Rail Mentees were tasked with creating a three-act play about identity in the 21st century.

During one of our sleep-deprived brainstorming sessions, someone introduced the idea of “The Lost Boy Generation.” It seemed obvious to us that the only way to explore this concept was to have all 14 mentees embody Peter Pan-esque Lost Boys and go off gallivanting on adventures throughout the building.

The building was mostly deserted at this point early in the morning, so we had free rein on our expedition to make silly, bold, physically adventurous choices. At one point, mentee Sean Grosshans disappeared for several minutes, and when he finally reappeared we realized he must be a ghost. An elaborate game of hide-and-seek ensued with our phantom friend, with cries of “Ghost of Sean! Ghost of Sean!” heard around every corner. Later on, we discovered a large wheeled trash bin and some rope. With the help of another mentee, Matt Sunderland (who was wearing a costume attached to “horse”), we fashioned the bin into a usable chariot, which we rode valiantly throughout the second floor of the building.

What did I learn from this unique orientation? I learned that I was going to spend the next year working with a group of hilarious, passionate, resourceful artists who wanted to be there as much as I did.

Emily Eisele is one of this season’s Third Rail Mentees. These ambitious, talented, disciplined emerging theater artists come to Third Rail to gain a broader scope of what it is to be an artist of the theatre.